FORMER TEXAS ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY. Among Other Accolades, Ward Maedgen Has Been Named In D Magazine’s – The Best Lawyers In Dallas multiple years.
Lawyer – Traffic collision, Nearby – Krum
Why you should work with an experienced auto accident attorney
Our legal team will evaluate every part of the incident and develop the strongest possible case. This is your best hope of receiving compensation in the form of a settlement or a jury verdict. A vehicle accident lawyer can help you determine if you are entitled to compensation through no fault insurance. This includes financial recompense for any injuries or losses you sustained, missed wages, and other skyrocketing costs. Contact our Dallas law offices for a free initial consultation to learn more about all your options. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys will ensure that your case is as smooth as possible.
The claims adjusters or managers of insurance companies use tactics and methods in order to limit the payouts, or even deny it entirely. If a case goes to trial, then the legal department of the insurance carrier is called in. The basic truth is that these teams of professional’s entire jobs are in place to reduce what the insurance carrier has to pay out every year. They are skilled at what they do.
This means that no matter what happens, if you speak with the other driver’s insurance company, you can be sure you’ll be dealing with people whose goal is to minimize claims in any legal way possible. Unarmed and without a lawyer is a terrible idea.
Sometimes, clients have to learn this hard way. For example, we have seen clients come to us after recording a statement. They are trying to work with their insurance company. Normally they make huge mistakes that play to the advantage of the company and hurt or destroy their chances of a favorable claim. It is usually too late for us.
It’s crucial that potential clients never communicate with their insurance companies. Because they want information that can be harmful to clients but benefit the insurance company or defendant, this is a problem. This is particularly true in the light of contributory neglect. Misunderstandings can occur when insurance providers are contacted. They don’t care about you. They’re just trying to win your business by trying not to pay you as much as they can.
Common Case Types – Traffic collision – Texas
Although the Texas Department of Transportation has no data on rear-end traffic accidents, we know they are approximately 28% or 29% nationally. This type is most likely to be the most prevalent in the nation, and Texas is no exempt.
Texas is considered a “modified comparative blame state”, which means rear-end collisions are not always attributed to the driver. You must consider mitigating circumstances. Are your brake lights on? Did you bring traffic to a halt? You used turn signals. In these cases, there must be a finding that the defendant was behind you. You can refute your testimony, but there must be evidence that the defendant did not follow you too closely.
There are a few reasons rear-end collisions can occur. Sometimes, there are unforeseeable circumstances or conditions that can cause rear-end collisions. A road object might cause the defendant’s vehicle to suddenly stop, causing it to collide with you. Sometimes, a defendant might have been following too closely and ran into your bumper before smashing into you.
The courtroom will have questions from both sides. For example, what about weather conditions? They contributed to the collision? What about speeding? There might even be an argument about whether or not your tail lights were working. Last but not least, there’s the matter of contributory negligence. If you did not brake for traffic ahead of you then some might argue that you contributed to the collision.
Rear-ending is not an automatic win for a claimant, as you can see. An experienced auto accident attorney is invaluable in navigating these issues.
Head-on crashes are less common than rear-end accidents but are statistically more dangerous. In 2020 the Texas Department of Transportation reported 538 deaths from head-on collision accidents. These accidents made up almost 14% the total traffic fatalities in Texas for the year.
Distracted Driving Accidents
Nowadays, distractions from personal phones are more than just texting. Although texting while driving has been banned in Texas since 2017, it is still legal to use handheld devices for other purposes, such as GPS and music. This does not mean that someone who caused an accident due to distracted driving is excusable just because they were doing something other than texting on their device. The law states that a person may be charged with a Class A offense, which can lead to jail time of up to one year and a maximum fine of $4,000.
Additionally to state laws and ordinances, cities in Dallas/Fort Worth have their own ordinances. Some are more restrictive than others.
Regardless the laws, in 2020 368 traffic accident fatalities were attributed to distracted driving. Hundreds more could have been involved or contributed in non-fatal traffic accidents.
Texas saw 1,354 car-related deaths in 2020. These are referred to by NHTSA as “ROR” – Run-Off Road Crashes.
ROR crashes almost always involve one party. Personal injury lawyers aren’t as familiar with these cases because the majority of ROR crashes occur because of the fault of one person.
However, some ROR crashes are caused due to another driver forcing you to take evasive action to avoid a collision. Texas had 51% fatal accidents in 2020. These areas typically have two-lane highways with opposing traffic, which can lead to drivers drifting into the oncoming lane. A driver might also be trying to pass in an unsafe manner.
If another driver ran you off of the road, for example someone under the influence of alcohol or drug or someone who fell asleep at work, you will need to provide proof that the other driver caused the accident. A car accident claim that was not in direct contact with another vehicle will be reviewed by an insurance company. They will look into the circumstances and determine if there were any other factors. Perhaps eye-witnesses or witnesses can give testimony if the other driver fled from the scene. It’s more common than ever that more drivers equip their cars with dash cameras.
If your Run-off-road accident was due to another driver’s negligence, you’ll want to work with a good personal injury attorney to build a case properly.
Intersection and Side Impact Collision
Similar to head-on collisions cases, fatalities from side impact and intersection accidents are a significant contributor to serious injury in Texas. In 2020 there were 865 deaths that were directly related to intersections.
Side collisions often result in serious injury. This happens because the vehicle’s side is more vulnerable to being struck than it is the front. These injuries are reduced by modern car side impact airbags and curtains. However, the Texas fatality statistics above show that this type of accident can still be deadly.
Like other Texas accident types, a broad-side incident can’t be treated as a straightforward case because of modified contributory negligence law. It’s possible that even though the other driver was negligent, there may not have been enough negligence to allow their car insurance policy to pay. An accident attorney in Texas is a great resource for you.
Common Mistakes following a traffic collision
Many times, the parties involved in an accident will not take photos of the scene or have police present. This is an error as it reduces photographic evidence’s reliability and makes it impossible for police to inspect the vehicles immediately after the collision.
People make another common error when they contact their at-fault insurance company and give a recorded statement. Many people believe they’re being cooperative. They are not being looked after by the insurance company. They are trying to find information that will benefit their insured. There is no obligation on the insured to speak with the insurance company.
Sometimes people make the error of not seeking immediate treatment, thinking they are able to handle it. They don’t have the documentation required by a doctor to back up their claims. As time passes, there is a delay in getting treatment. If you wait too long or don’t seek treatment immediately, the insurance company may claim you weren’t injured. An insurance carrier can also use a gap in treatment as a defense.
Common mistakes made by people include not seeking immediate treatment, talking to their at-fault insurer, recording a statement, trying and resolving their claim themselves, accepting an earlier settlement, refusing to accept the outcome of the case, and refusing to take action.
Stopping Insurance Companies
In an attempt to reduce their payouts, insurance companies might unjustly accuse the injured person of causing a crash. It’s possible that the police report is incorrect. Victim-blaming can follow. There is a possibility that you could find yourself in a conflict with the negligent driver. For your case to be successful, you will need strong evidence and the help of a professional.
We examine all aspects of our clients’ claims. This includes reviewing police reports, gathering witness testimony, preserving electronic data from automobiles, surveillance videos, and consulting crash reconstruction specialists.
Personal Injury Protection Insurance
Personal injury coverage (PIP) can be included on most personal auto policies. Although you can opt out of PIP in some cases such as if you have Medicare, for most drivers, the coverage is mandatory.
This type of personal insurance protection protects against medical expenses after an auto accident. This means you can pay for your own and your passengers’ medical bills regardless of how the case ends. PIP may also be used to pay lost wages.
The Texas minimum policy limit for PIP is $2,500. This is not much. It’s possible that you would have selected a higher sum if you had a competent agent who explained the coverages to you. This will cover short-term medical expenses as the case progresses.
A case involving an accident goes to court
The majority of insurance claim claims are settled before a lawsuit is filed.
However, not all accidents involving vehicles can be solved. Perhaps the issues that need to be resolved are beyond the parties’ abilities. Maybe the defendants and plaintiffs couldn’t agree on the amount of compensation to be paid because they couldn’t settle their differences.
In a trial, expert witnesses and witnesses may be called. Responding law enforcement officers can also be called and could testify before a jury. The jury will decide on the defendant’s extent of liability. A trial case is more expensive and takes longer than a settlement. However, a jury could award more damages to a plaintiff than any settlement. Sometimes your attorney may even be able to argue that you be awarded punitive damages which is something that would not be offered in a settlement.
Discovery & Deposition
The defense side will request a deposition after you have filed a lawsuit. You will be asked questions by both sides during this formal conversation. Both the attorneys on each side will be there as well as a reporter. Each side will ask you questions about the accident and who was responsible, as well as your injuries and damages. To learn more about other drivers, the attorney will ask them questions.
Your attorney will assist you in answering any questions you may have. Your attorney might also ask questions that are favorable to your case. However, the process does not have to make you feel uncomfortable. Texas rules for depositions mean that you won’t be intimidated and your accident attorney will also make sure of this.
Texas Motor Vehicle Trial Cases: Expert Witnesses
In a court case, expert witness can give their opinion to a jury. Using their expertise, the witness can help those hearing the case draw a conclusion based on available information.
Expert witnesses in motor vehicle accident cases are most commonly medical experts. These doctors or other medical professionals can give opinions about the likelihood of recovery, need to treat, and prognosis of an injury victim.
Expert witnesses are able to help claimants build a stronger case but it is not always so. Expert witnesses are rarely called and usually only take part in court cases when the court requires. An experienced motor vehicle company will be able to tap into its resources to find the right expert witness when this happens.
How long does it take to get a court case for an auto crash?
When determining how long it takes, the trial is not the only factor. There are a lot of things that need to happen before you ever step into the courtroom. The lawsuit must be served on the defendant. Next, the parties will exchange evidence and depose witnesses. This entire process can take between one and twelve months depending on how complicated the case is, as well as how many parties involved.
As you can see, it’s not wise to go it alone in Texas. To learn more about your legal options, call us for a free consultation. Ward Maedgen Accident attorneys have helped many recover from car crashes over the years.
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